Despite his place in 19/20’s UEFA Youth Team of the season, Kai Kennedy’s career has not gone from strength to strength like fellow nominee Joško Gvardiol’s has. Both 19, both named in that illustrious list two years ago, but one of them is a Leipzig star and worth £20M already, playing for his country and even stealing our Borna’s place, while the other managed a loan out at ICT.
Indeed, Croatia’s Gvardiol, named at CB (for that is his natural position) played all four of his country’s Euro matches, while Kai Kennedy couldn’t have been further from a pick for the NT if he tried.
Let’s be clear, he IS a talented player, but he has a number of issues.
First off, that attitude problem from back in the day – even Ross Wilson did address it when announcing the new deal – hopefully the boy is growing up a bit, but it was a challenge and Steven Gerrard was decidedly unimpressed. We know historically when a player shows a disquieting attitude, very rarely does Stevie give them another chance.
Secondly, Rangers are chock a block in Kennedy’s favoured position – left wing. Rangers have Ryan Kent, Jordan Jones, Brandon Barker and Scott Wright to name just four of the players who are currently ahead of Kennedy. True, two of them may move on, but for now, Kennedy is quite a distance away from selection.
And lastly, the whole loan issue under Stevie – once a player is earmarked for a loan, that’s Stevie-talk for ‘not interested’. At least it has been till present. Doesn’t matter what they do on loan – look at Jamie Murphy and Greg Docherty’s superb loans at Bristol and Shrewsbury respectively. But these didn’t persuade Stevie to give either of them a second chance.
Kennedy has his work cut out to make the grade at Ibrox. Better players than the attacker have failed to make the cut in Govan, but we’ll be fascinated to see if he’ll break the mould and be the first loan player Stevie’s given a chance to.